Staff Reporter

State to spend Rs. 1,600 crore on the exercise, says Agriculture Minister

Three Ministers examine NPM farming methods

Project aimed at helping SC/ST ryots improve income

NALGONDA: The State government will develop agriculture on lands belonging to SC/ ST farmers in adherence to best agricultural practices through an inter-departmental intervention at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,600 crore in the State, Minister for Agriculture N. Raghuveera Reddy said on Wednesday.

He along with Minister for Rural Development Vatti Vasant Kumar and Minister for IT Komatireddy Venkat Reddy visited Kapraipalli village in Athmakur (M) mandal and Mothkur today.

The Ministers examined the adoption of non-pesticidal management (NPM) farming method on the agriculture lands of SC/ ST farmers with NREGS funds as part of a pilot project at Kapraipalli village. They also visited Mothkur and enquired about the community-managed sustainable agriculture methods employed by farmers in the village.

Mr. Raghuveera Reddy said the pilot project was aimed at enabling the SC/ ST farmers improve their income and make agriculture a profitable vocation.

The beneficiaries would be motivated to take up best water and non-pesticide management methods, he said adding that the pilot project would be extended to all villages in a phased manner.

Mr. Vasant Kumar said NPM farming was implemented in 121 villages in the State last year. The project was presently underway in 4,000 villages to help poor farmers, mainly of drought-prone and upland areas, he added.

Mr. Venkat Reddy said the government was spending about Rs. 50,000 per acre to develop the agriculture lands of the SCs /STs.